No permanent ceasefire from Taliban until settlement: Khalilzad

Zalmay Khalilzad, the US Special Representative for Afghanistan Reconciliation, has said that the Taliban will not agree to a comprehensive ceasefire until there is a political settlement in place.

“The Taliban will not accept a ceasefire, comprehensive and permanent, until there is a political settlement. And that is not unprecedented in similar conflicts elsewhere, I think they can do a reduction of violence, they have said they will consider it depending on what the proposal is. The government is supportive of it too,” TOLO News reported on Saturday citing Khalilzad as saying in an interview with PBS News Magazine.

Khalilzad said that the US is ready to work with the Afghan government and the Taliban for a reduction in violence.

The envoy’s remarks come as the Taliban continues to increase attacks in multiple areas in Afghanistan.

In the latest incidents of violence, clashes were reported in parts of Badakshan; Taluqan in Takhar province; and Kunduz province.

Reports indicate that violence is currently surging in 10 provinces of the country.

Based on the statistics of the Afghan security agencies, over the past two weeks the Taliban initiated 350 operations in various region, resulting in the deaths of 20 civilians, while 80 others were injured

The Taliban has however rejected these figures, saying the casualties occurred as a result of mortar attacks by the Afghan forces.